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No. 135: MAY-JUN 2001

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Longevity And Sardinia

If you were not born in the fall (see above item) and thereby received a few months' bonus in longevity, you might compensate for the loss by moving to sunny Sardinia in the Mediterranean. Nowhere else on the planet does a larger proportion of the male population live to the century mark. Strangely, female longevity is unaffected by whatever it is that produces the male Methuselahs. We have, therefore, two questions to answer: (1) Why do so many males reach the 100-year mark; and (2) Why are Sardinia's women short-changed?

No one has good answers. It might be genetic (an inbreeding effect) or simply lifestyle (more imbibing of the island's red wine).

(Koenig, Robert; "Sardinia's Mysterious Male Methuselahs," Science, 291:2074, 2001.)

From Science Frontiers #135, MAY-JUN 2001. 2001 William R. Corliss

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